Friday, January 31, 2014

9 dead, including 8 children in Muhlenberg fire

AP News Photo
UPDATE, 4:15 p.m. FridayAutopsies were concluded today at the state medical examiner's Office in Madisonville. The nine victims from Thursday's fatal fire in Muhlenberg County died as a result of smoke inhalation. At the present time, Chad Watson and Kylie Watson both remain in critical, but stable condition at Vanderbilt.

Memorial funds have been established at two banks.  Donations may be made to the family at any branch locations of First Kentucky Bank or Old National Bank.
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Kentucky State Police confirm that all nine victims of a fatal house fire in Muhlenberg County have been recovered. But two survived the ordeal – the father and an 11-year-old daughter. Both were taken to the Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville. 

A pregnant mother and eight children were killed in the Greenville fire.

"They're still in there' surviving father yells at scene"

Bo Groves was awakened about 2 a.m. by a loud beating on his door. When he opened it, he saw his badly burned neighbor from across the street, Chad Watson, and Watson's young daughter, also badly burned, standing on his porch.

Groves brought them in, and Chad Watson said, "They're all gone. They're all gone."


For the complete story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

State transportation officials prepare for winter weather event

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to start pre-treating highways in Kentucky’s 12 westernmost counties on Sunday in preparation for a winter weather event in the forecast for Sunday evening into Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning.

The Sunday evening event that is expected to roll into Monday morning includes up to one inch of snow along the Kentucky-Tennessee border counties.

The Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning event may include freezing rain with some snow accumulation.

Motorists are encouraged to closely monitor area news media outlets for forecast updates from the National Weather Service as these two opportunities for winter precipitation approach.

KyTC crews in District 1 plan to pre-treat starting about 7 a.m. on Sunday and continuing on Monday as weather conditions allow. Motorists should be alert for trucks spraying brine along area highways.

Pre-treating involves spraying brine on road surfaces where it dries to leave a fine powder of salt that then becomes available to be activated by falling precipitation in the early hours of an event. The salt powder initially helps improve driving conditions. Later, as snow accumulates, the salt keeps the snow from bonding to the pavement and makes it easier to plow away.

Highway crews normally do not pre-treat when there is a chance of rain washing the brine away or when temperatures are below about 20 degrees.

Crews will also be on alert status for whatever snow arrives overnight Sunday into Monday.

If appropriate, crews will continue pre-treating efforts on Monday to prepare for the winter precipitation expected on Tuesday evening.

The KyTC District 1 Snow and Ice Team will be monitoring the forecast for updates, continuously evaluating efforts, and adjusting crew activities as the forecast firms up through the weekend.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews will be doing their part by spreading salt and other ice-fighting chemicals to help improve driving conditions.  They ask that you do your part by buckling your safety belt, assuring that you have good tread on your tires, and slowing down to meet localized weather conditions.

Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KyTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

Area death

Steve Hackney, 64, of Salem died Jan. 30, 2014, at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Steven Ray Tramble, 49, of Burna died Jan. 30, 2014, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Hunting season for coyotes at night opens Saturday

A new regulation allows hunters to use lights to hunt coyotes at night in Kentucky from Saturday through May 31 in permissible areas.

Hunters may take coyotes either during the day or at night year-round in Kentucky. However, lights may only be used at night during the upcoming season.

Hunters should be aware of the different regulations which apply to coyote hunting during the day or the night.

During the day, coyote hunters may use shotguns, rifles, bows, crossbows or air guns with a minimum size of .22 caliber. At night, however, the only firearm a hunter may use is a shotgun. Night hunters must use shells which contain more than one projectile.

Several federal areas are closed to night coyote hunting. These include Land Between The Lakes in western Kentucky; Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in southeastern Kentucky; and the Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky.

The Boone forest closure includes certain properties owned by the federal government but managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. These include Beaver Creek, Cane Creek, Redbird, Mill Creek and Pioneer Weapons wildlife management areas (WMAs).

Other federal areas closed to night coyote hunting include Clark's River National Wildlife Refuge in Marshall, McCracken and Graves counties; Jefferson National Forest in Letcher and Pike counties; and Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge in Fulton County. Hunters should verify with landowners any property they wish to hunt coyotes at night.

State-owned WMAs are open for night coyote hunting. Night hunting of coyotes is allowed on private and other properties with the permission of the landowner, as long as there are no local ordinances prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the area.

Hunters may not spotlight and shoot coyotes from a vehicle. People may not use a vehicle's headlights or a light plugged into a vehicle for hunting. Lights that are used for hunting may be any color.

Regulations allow hunters to use decoys, mouth calls and electronic calls to lure coyotes. Unless license exempt, hunters must have a valid hunting license to take coyotes.

Winter to return after mild weekend

KENTUCKY PRESS NEWS SERVICE
It will be wet and warm across most of Kentucky on Saturday as rain hits the state and the mercury heads for the low 50s - not hot but definitely warmer than recent days.

But the National Weather Service says what it calls a winter weather event is poised to affect several states, including Kentucky, from Monday night through Wednesday morning. The storm will have the potential for significant impact on the region but the weather service said the storm is still too far out to say with much certainty exactly what kind of precipitation we will get and how much and where.

We could end up seeing snow, rain, freezing rain or sleet, NWS said.

In the meantime, daytime highs will be in the mid 30s on Sunday, upper 30s on Monday and Tuesday and back to the mid 30s on Wednesday. But by the time Thursday and Friday of next week arrive, it will turn cold with daytime highs both days in the upper 20s.

Field fire on Nunn Switch Road close to residence

UPDATE: At 1:40 p.m., firefighters reported the blaze was under control.

Mattoon Volunteer Fire Department is responding to a field fire close to a residence on Nunn Switch Road. The fire was reported around 1:15 p.m.

10-digit dialing begins Saturday

Mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls begins tomorrow in area code 270.

“Starting at midnight, it will be necessary to dial area code 270 as well as the seven-digit local number in order to complete a local call in area code 270,” Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman David Armstrong said. “The PSC hopes that everyone has used the six-month transitional period to prepare for this change.”

Ten-digit dialing is necessary because area code 364 is being overlaid on the same geographic area as the current area code 270.

The first numbers using area code 364 may be assigned beginning March 3, 2014. Area code 270 numbers can be assigned after that date, but their availability will depend on how many remain in the inventory of each individual service provider.

Even when area code 364 goes into use, the vast majority of residential and business phone numbers in the area will continue to use area code 270. Only some new customers and those who wish to switch to the new area code will have 364 numbers.

 “All current area code 270 number will stay the same when the new area code becomes effective,” Armstrong said. “Only the dialing pattern is changing.”

Area code 364 was created in December 2012 when the PSC decided that the best way to meet the need for more telephone numbers in area code 270 was through the creation of an overlay, which superimposes a new area code over an existing area code.

The overlay option is the least disruptive for all customers and imposes the smallest cost on businesses in the area, the PSC said in its order creating area code 364. This is the first area code in Kentucky created by an overlay.

Dialing 1 for local calls is not necessary with the overlay. Local calls will not become long-distance calls.

In its December 2012 order, the PSC noted that public comments received in the case overwhelmingly favored an overlay. The other option was to split area code 270 and designate a portion as area code 364, with both landline and wireless customers in the affected portion required to change their area code as a result.

Area code overlays have become the preferred method for creating new area codes nationwide. They pose the fewest technical issues for telecommunications providers.

All records in the area code case are available on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov. The case number is 2012-00129.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 90 employees.

Ten things to know about Kentucky's new area code
  1. All current area code 270 numbers remain unchanged. Everyone with a 270 area code number can keep it. Nobody is required to change their area code or phone number.
  2. The overlay affects both landline and wireless services.
  3. Area code 364 will be overlaid on top of area code 270. That means that area codes 270 and 364 will occupy the same physical space beginning March 2014.
  4. In order to distinguish between phone numbers with area code 270 and those with area code 364, 10-digit dialing will be required for all local calls within the overlay.
  5. Ten-digit dialing also will be required for local calls into or out of the overlay in those areas that now allow seven-digit  local calling across the area code 270 boundary.
  6. Ten-digit dialing means dialing the area code before dialing the number itself – for example: 270-555-1212 or 364-555-1212.
  7. Long-distance calls within the overlay will require 11-digit (1-plus) dialing, just as long distance calls to other area codes do now.
  8. A transition period, known as permissive dialing, began Aug. 3, 2013, and ends Jan. 31, 2014. During that time, local calls could be made using either seven-digit or 10-digit dialing.
  9. On Feb. 1, 2014, 10-digit dialing for local calls becomes mandatory in the area code 270/364 territory.
  10. Numbers with area code 364 may be distributed beginning March 3, 2014. Telecommunication service providers may continue to distribute 270 numbers for as long as they have any remaining in their inventories.

KSP steps up enforcement for Super Bowl

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches and football fans across the country prepare for the game, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the National Football League (NFL) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, have joined forces with Kentucky’s highway safety and law enforcement officials to spread the message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday, because – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Kentucky State Police will support this enforcement effort with increased patrols in all post and region areas on Super Bowl Sunday.

To aid in keeping drunken drivers off the road, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) partnered with Mobile Life Solutions to develop a “Drive Sober Kentucky” application.

The app contains:
  • A one-touch dial feature to call the Kentucky State Police to report a drunken driver
  • A list of local taxi services, sober ride programs and limousine companies, working with the caller’s Global Positioning System
  • A link to Kentucky’s HERO designated driver campaign website http://kentuckyheroes.org/
  • Information on laws and penalties for driving while impaired and the cost of getting a DUI
  • A Blood Alcohol Concentration calculator
  • A feature that turns the camera into impairment goggles 
  • A feature to select a designated driver 

The “Drive Sober Kentucky” app is available to download for free in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Windows Phone Store. Or, it can be downloaded at www.DriveSoberKY.com.  

“In this day and age, most people have smart phones, so we’re putting the information directly in their hands,” Bell said. “We hope it will greatly reduce the number of people who choose to drink and drive.”

NHTSA offers these additional safety tips:

If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
  • Designate your sober driver or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay for the night.
  • Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
  • Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely.
  • Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink. 

And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunken driver in a crash.

For more information, visit the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign Headquarters at www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.

New Madrid Fault rattles morning just after 6

There was a little shaker this morning courtesy of the New Madrid Fault. You may have felt it arorund 6:12 a.m. The USGS says a 2.5-magnitute quake was center at New Madrid, Mo.

See more by clicking link below:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nm013114a#summary

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Area deaths

Shelvie Jolene Martin Cullison MIlls, 73, of Livingston, Tenn., died Jan. 27, 2014, at the Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center. A graveside service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at Mapleview Cemetery. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling local arrangements.

Harold Perry Glore, 80, of Marion died Jan. 29, 2014, at his home. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Sylvia V. Tabor Long, 75, of Crayne died Jan. 27, 2014, at Oakview Nursing and Rehab in Marshall County. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Anna Mae McDowell, 80, of Smithland died Jan. 27, 2014, at Christian Care Center in Kuttawa. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Herbert "Mutt" Winebarger Jr., 85, of Diamond died Jan. 26, 2014, at Baptist Health Madisonville. Jones and Erdman Funeral Home in Providence is handling arrangements.

Podcast: Chief Justice and AOC Director

STATE OF THE CRITTENDEN COUNTY COURTHOUSE


High-ranking justice department officials were in Marion last week and found concerns with safety and ADA compliance at the courthouse. Listen to our News Podcast featuring the chief justice and AOC director. Click
above link listen, and see this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for a detailed article.

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. visits with Crittenden District Judge Daniel Heady. The chief justice is flanked by Administrative Office of the Courts Director Laurie Dudgeon (on his left) and Circuit Judge Rene Williams (on his right). 

http://www.the-press.com/CourthouseTopic.mp3

Ferry closed due to ice

The Cave In Rock Ferry has shut down for the second time
this year due to ice flows on the Ohio River.
The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is closed due to heavy ice on the Ohio River.  The ferry halted service about 11:30 a.m. today.

Ferry operator Lonnie Lewis says the river is about 75 to 80 percent covered between the banks by a large mass of floating ice.  The ice is moving, but the chunks are getting large enough to present a hazard to the ferry.

Lewis says several tow boat pilots that run the Ohio near the ferry crossing have indicated this is the worst ice has been since about 1975.

He expects it will take several days of above freezing weather to allow the ferry to resume operation.

Rockets heading back to Class A football

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has announced its classification alignment for the 2015 through 2018 seasons and Crittenden County is heading back down to 1A, where most of its followers want to be.

The Rockets will complete in a district with Fulton County, Fulton City and Russellville. Other western Kentucky teams such as Mayfield, Murray, Ballard Memorial, Union County and Caldwell County will be in higher classifications.

We will have continued coverage on this new development as more details become available.

Coyote Contest Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8


Click Image to Enlarge

Study shows Kentucky's ERs are some of worst in the nation

Kentucky's emergency rooms rank among the worst in the nation, but health officials say it's policy, not patient care, that accounts for the low score. Kentucky ranked 47th, dropping from 44th when the last report was issued in 2009. The reports covered not only quality of care but access to care, public health, disaster preparedness and medical liability.

For the full story, visit Kentucky.com.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kentucky singled out by President Obama

Kentucky and Gov. Steve Beshear were recognized by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday. Obama praised Beshear for his efforts to get uninsured Kentuckians enrolled for coverage through the commonwealth's rollout of its health care exchange, kynect.

"...(Gov. Beshear is) like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families," the president said in his speech, complimenting the governor on his efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act.

The governor, along with First Lady Jane Beshear, were in the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives during the address.

Several elected officials without opposition

The candidate filing period for partisan political races in 2014 ended today.

It appears Crittenden County is satisfied with its elected officials holding countywide office. Judge-Executive Perry Newcom, Sheriff Wayne Agent, County Clerk Carolyn Byford, County Attorney Rebecca Johnson, PVA Ronnie Heady and Coroner Brad Gilbert will be running without opposition this year, as no candidate has filed to run against them. Also, magistrates Dan Wood and Curt Buntin are without opponents.

See this week's issue of The Crittenden Press to find who's running in the contested races.

Weather swings causing interstate problems

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has placed message boards urging motorists to use caution along a section of Interstate 24 in Lyon County where a number of concrete pavement slabs have failed due to the recent extreme temperature swings.

Eastbound traffic will find rough pavement existing along about a 3-mile section of I-24 near the Lyon-Caldwell County Line. There are rough slabs along the right-hand or driving lane in this area.

Westbound motorists will find rough pavement along about a 10-mile section from near the Lyon-Caldwell County Line to near the Eddyville Exit. There are rough slabs along the right-hand or driving lane in this area.

Motorists should use extra caution.

The freezing and thawing in recent weeks with extreme cold temperatures has loosened some of the concrete slabs in this area. That same extreme weather has prevented maintenance crews from making immediate repairs.

It will take several days of 50-plus degree temperatures to allow the failed slabs to be removed and replaced with fresh concrete.

Firefighters responding to field fire

UPDATE: The fire was reported to be under control at 3:05 p.m.

Crittenden County and Mattoon volunteer fire departments are responding to a field fire on Wilson Farm Road. The fire is about 1.5 miles off of Ky. 120.

Attempted murder charge tacked on Lady

The man accused of robbing the Fredonia Valley Bank on Monday now has a more serious charge to face. In
addition to yesterday's charges of first-degree robbery and four counts of wanton endangerment for pointing his gun at people inside the bank, 23-year-old Codie Lady now is accused of trying to kill a cop.

On Tuesday, state police filed additional charges against Lady. Those were attempted murder of a police officer, a Class A felony punishable by more than 20 years in prison; first-degree fleeing or evading police in a vehicle, a Class D felony; and first-offense DUI with aggrevating circumstances.

The new charges stem from when a state trooper confronted the suspect on a rural Caldwell County road about two hours after the robbery.

See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press – which will be on newsstands tomorrow – for many more details about the bank robbery. Some of them may stun you.

Alleged bank robber recently paroled from prison


http://www.writeaprisoner.com/Template.aspx?i=z-227016

The man charged with robbing Fredonia Valley Bank Monday has an extensive criminal record. In fact, he just got out of prison in the fall.

This week's Crittenden Press printed edition – on newsstands tomorrow – will have a detailed look at Codie Lady's background and the alleged holdup on Monday in Fredonia.

In the meantime, you can read Lady's profile at the Website WriteAprisoner.com.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Marion man charged in bank robbery

Codie Lady
State police have charged a Marion man and a Princeton woman in connection with a bank robbery that occurred earlier today at the Fredonia Valley Bank in Fredonia.

Codie L. Lady, 23, of Marion is charged with first-degree robbery, a Class B felony and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony. Also charged is Lacie K. Bielecki, 29, of Princton. She faces a single count of first-degree robbery by complicity, a Class B felony. Police believe she was either driving or in the getaway vehicle at the bank.

The robber entered Fredonia Valley Bank brandishing a handgun just before noon. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. A witness said the supect left the bank and got into a white S-10 Chevy pickup.
At approximately 1:45 p.m., Trooper First Class John Komar located the pickup on Nichols Road in rural Caldwell County. Trooper Komar exited his cruiser and ordered the occupants of the vehicle to stop. The suspect vehicle accelerated and attempted to strike the trooper, who fired one round from his service weapon at the approaching vehicle, but did not strike either suspect.  
Bielecki
The suspect vehicle continued to flee and turned onto Needmore Road. It turned onto a gravel and dirt path and then into a field where the Caldwell County Sheriff Stan Hudson used what state police said was legal intervention and struck the suspect vehicle with his cruiser. The two individuals in the truck were taken into custody without further incident.
Lady was transported by ambulance to the Caldwell County Medical Center for treatment of a possible overdose. After his arrest, Lady advised officers that he had ingested a large amount of prescription medication. He will be kept overnight. 

Bielecki was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail.

Neither of the suspects nor any of the officers was injured.  The investigation is continuing by the Kentucky State Police. Detective Matt Foster is leading the investigation. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department assisted in today's investigation.

Crittenden ranks third in deer harvests

KENTUCKY PRESS NEWS SERVICE
A year after establishing an overall deer harvest record, Kentucky hunters did it again.

The 2013-14 deer season in Kentucky ended Jan. 20 with a total harvest of 144,404 animals, including more than 3,000 in Crittenden County. That represents a gain of more than 9 percent over the previous record set during the 2012-13 season.

“This year we were ahead of the curve,” said David Yancy, deer biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Hunters harvested more deer in September than they ever had, the October youth weekend was the best it had been since 2008, there was a slightly better than average muzzleloader season and then modern gun season was way better than it normally is. It sort of held throughout.”

A spotty crop of acorns and other hard mast across Kentucky had deer on the move, and made them more vulnerable to hunters.

An increase of about 9,000 deer permits sold – about one third of those coming through youth sportsman’s licenses – also meant there were more hunters in the field.

“The poor acorn crop was a major factor in getting those deer out into the open and into the harvested corn fields and the food plots,” said Tina Brunjes, deer program coordinator with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “The weather during the modern gun season and during the muzzleloader season was not as wonderful as it was last season, but we didn’t have any epic ice storms or some sort of huge flood. Hunters were able to get out.”

Harvest totals for firearms, archery, muzzleloading and crossbow were up across the board. A record 104,619 deer were taken by firearms hunters. Archery hunters harvested 20,833 whitetails while muzzleloader hunters bagged 15,641 deer and crossbow hunters reported taking 3,311 deer.

Male deer accounted for nearly 54 percent of the deer harvested. Out of the 77,719 male deer taken, 9,962 were antlerless, according to telecheck data.

Three of the top five counties in terms of estimated deer densities produced the top harvest totals. Hunters in Owen County took 4,069 whitetails to lead the state followed by Pendleton County with 3,464 and Crittenden County with 3,033.

Kentucky’s deer herd was estimated at approximately 900,000 prior to the season. Herd estimates are derived through computer modeling that takes into account harvest and age structure data.

Brunjes tempered her expectations for this past season, thinking it might be average compared to the record harvest of 131,395 deer posted in 2012-13.

“We ended up with a huge, record-breaking year,” she said.
After a second record harvest in as many seasons, deer are looking at a landscape that has more to offer, Brunjes said.

“The potential is there for the does that make it through this cold winter to have really high fawning success, and those bucks that make it through this cold winter, they’re going to be the best of the best,” she said. “If we can get a good spring, we might not see the numbers next year, but we’ll see a lot of quality deer out there."

Bank robbery suspect in custody


State police have a suspect in custody. Stu Recke, (above) spokesperson for the Kentucky State Police, says authorities believe they have the person responsible for holding up Fredonia Valley Bank just before noon today.

Not long after at the robbery, police located a pickup matching the description of the getaway vehicle. The suspect was located on Needmore Road east of Fredonia in rural Caldwell County.

No other details were immediately available.


Bank robbery suspect sought

SECOND UPDATE
After viewing surveillance video at the bank, police now say they believe the suspect was wearing a brown ski or hunting type mask and a grey, long-sleeve shirt under a pair of bulky brown overalls.

A gunman wearing a ski mask walked into the front door of Fredonia Valley Bank in Fredonia at 11:51 a.m., today and demanded cash after brandishing a handgun. A teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of money and he exited the bank. Authorities believe the robber may have gotten into a white S-10 pickup, which drove off north on U.S. 641.

A witness was able to get a license plate number, but authorities are not certain the information will lead to a suspect.

The robber was wearing a pair of brown overalls and a blue denim shirt. He was also wearing gloves.

No one at the bank was harmed. Police say it will likely be tomorrow before the bank reopens. They were still inside completing their investigation well after 1 p.m.

Kentucky State Police is leading the investigation with assistance from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone with information on the robbery is encouraged to call the sheriff's department at (270) 365-2088 or state police at 1-800-222-5555.

Jamison Bedding Sale: Right Now at Johnson's

Click Image to Enlarge

Chief Justice finds issues in courthouse

Chief Justice John Minton looks at a leak in the courthouse ceiling.
That's Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. looking at damage inside the Crittenden County Courthouse. He is flanked by Administrative Office of the Courts Facilities Director Vance Mitchell, Circuit Judge Rene Williams and AOC Director Laurie Dudgeon.

The high-ranking justice department officials were in Marion last week and found concerns with safety and ADA compliance at the courthouse, among other pressing maintenance and space problems.

See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press to find out exactly what they found and what might be done about it.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

5-Year Anniversary of '09 Ice Storm

Remember where you were five years ago today when the worst ice storm in at least 100 years hit western Kentucky.

Take a look back in time with this You Tube video produced the week of the devastating storm in 2009.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Area death

Gregory E. Lawless, 51, of Marion died Jan. 24, 2014, at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Concealed Carry Instruction Available in Marion


Kentucky law allows citizens to carry concealed firearms or other deadly weapons, or a combination thereof.

Anyone wishing to carry a concealed weapon must first pass a basic training course, background check and pay a fee.

For more information about Kentucky's Conceal Carry Law, click here.

kynect sign-ups at library Monday

Robby Shearon from Pennyrile Allied Community Services in Hopkinsville will be at the Crittenden County Public Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to sign up individuals to Kentucky’s health care exchange kynect.

Individuals need to bring income verification for employment or verification if they receive social security, disability, unemployment, pensions or retirement. Individuals also need to bring their social security numbers.

This is not for individuals who are 65 and are eligible for Medicare.

Crittenden County Library e-Books now available


The weather is perfect for a good book so read on where ever you are and with any device you can handle...

Crittenden County Public Library has officially launched its e-Book web site.

Click on the icon to go straight to a list of titles, or
Click Here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Area death

Gleaford Earl Easley, 91, of Marion died Jan. 22, 2014, at Crittenden Health Systems. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Where there's smoke; there's fire. Motorists beware

Land Between the Lakes will be doing a prescribed burn in the Devils Elbow area of Trigg County starting at Noon, today. This is near the west end of the U.S. 68/Ky. 80 Lake Barkley/Cumberland River Bridge near Canton.

Motorists who regularly travel U.S. 68/Ky. 80 near the eastern entrance to Land Between the Lakes should be alert for the possibility of smoke near the highway. Appropriate caution is required.

Often, when such prescribed burns are conducted, residents in nearby counties – even as far north as Crittenden – can see the effects in the air and get whiff of smoke.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wind chill advisory issued

The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a wind chill advisory which is in effect from midnight tonight to noon Thursday.

Wind chill values will fall into the -5 to -15 range later tonight and Thursday morning as another chunk of arctic air makes its way southeast into the region.

Wind chills of this magnitude can result in frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Those outdoors without sufficient protection will run a high risk for frost bite or hypothermia.

Contest targets coyotes, even at night

Click Image to Enlarge

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Area death

Evelyn Lee, 79, of Salem died Jan. 21, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Arrangements at Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem were incomplete at press time.

CCHS SBDM meets Monday

Crittenden County High School site-based council will meet at 3:30 p.m. Monday the in the high school conference room.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Area death

Wanda Sue Boone, 76, of Evansville, Ind., formerly of Livingston County, died Jan. 19, 2014, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Area death

Thomas Glenn Lynch, 46, of Cedar Hill, Mo., died Jan, 15, 2014, at his home. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Clarification


A story in this week’s issue of The Crittenden Press regarding Marion Police Department’s newest officer requires a clarification.

The article suggested that officer Heath Martin, who is pastor at Cave Springs General Baptist Church, was given a schedule to allow him to work around his duties at the church. However, Martin is currently on a Tuesday to Saturday shift only because he is paired with field training officer Bobby West, who happens to work that schedule.

O’Neal said once Martin completes his police academy training, he cannot be guaranateed any particular shift.

Blackburn Church Road reopens to traffic

Blackburn Church Road in eastern Crittenden County has reopened to traffic now that work is complete on removing almost 1,000 tons of sandstone that had blocked the roadway for nearly a month.

Belt Construction Co. of Marion completed operations this week to break up boulders that had sheared off a roadside bluff and came crashing onto the roadway on Dec. 23. Though damage to the roadbed was extensive, road crews were able to use rock as a temporary fix to allow traffic through the area. With warmer temperatures in the spring, asphalt can then be used to patch the damaged area.

Belt’s Construction won the right to remove the rock with a $12,000 estimate, the lowest from any local companies vying for the job. Operators used two trackhoes – one equipped with a jackhammer attachment – to bust the rock and ready it for removal. The county has applied for state aid that would pay 80 percent of the cost of removing the rock.

Magistrate Dan Wood said the sandstone rock removed from the site of the rock slide was used to shore up roadsides along bridges on Blackburn Church and Travis Cemetery roads. He also said some unstable sections of rock from the bluff, which has dumped boulders onto the roadway before, were removed by Belt's.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hopkinsville call center to bring in third client, add 200 more jobs

When TeleTech’s Hopkinsville call center opened in December, it had one client and about 100 employees. More than a month later, the call center has approximately 200 employees servicing two clients — and in just a few more weeks, the company will have a third client at the Hopkinsville call center and will hire 200 more employees.

For the full story, visit the Kentucky New Era online.

CCHS SBDM meets next week

Crittenden County High School site-based decision-making council will meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in high school conference room.

Marion Storage Unit sale this weekend


Stable Self Storage will be conducting a sale of items in units of Past-Due Accounts.

This sale is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18 at the storage facility on Chapel Hill Road at the corner of Brookcliff Drive in Marion.

In case of bad weather, the sale will be postponed until Saturday, Jan. 25.

For more information, call (270) 969-0158.

Late-start classes offered at MCC

Madisonville Community College announces the offering of several “late start” classes for the spring 2014 semester. These 12-week classes will begin on Feb. 10 and end on May 2 with final exams scheduled for May 5-9.

Ranging from general education courses to program courses such as accounting, business and human services, the classes provide students with additional opportunities to begin their college careers.

MCC Chief Academic Officer Dr. Deborah Cox noted, “We believe these late start classes will meet an important need for people who were not ready to start on Jan. 13, but want to take classes during the spring. The 12-week term for these classes also offers students an opportunity to complete in a shorter time frame than the traditional 16-week format.”

To view a listing of available classes, visit MCC’s website at http://www.madisonville.kctcs.edu/en/Academics/Late_Registration.aspx.

To enroll, contact Aimee Wilkerson in MCC’s Enrollment Center at (270) 824-8696 to complete the admission and registration processes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Accident injures Crittenden County teen

UPDATE: Victim identified as Brittney Buell.
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A wreck Tuesday night near the 5-mile marker on Ky. 1668 (Crittenden Springs Road) has left a Crittenden County teen with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

Brittney Buell, a senior at Crittenden County High School, was the victim in the single vehicle accident near the intersection with Ky. 2123 (Glendale Church Road). The accident occurred shortly after 9 p.m., and she was alone in the vehicle.

She was flown to an area hospital by a PHI Air Medical helicopter for treatment of a back injury.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fiscal court seeks snow/storm removal bids


Crittenden County Fiscal Court is accepting bids for snow removal and/or storm debris removal. Bids must be submitted to the County Judge-Executive’s office by 8 a.m., January 21, 2014 at which time bids will be opened at the regular court meeting. 

Bidders must show proof of  liability insurance, provide equipment size and price per hour. If you have any questions regarding this notice, contact Perry Newcom, Judge-Executive, at (270) 965-5251.

Cave In Rock Ferry to resume operation

The Cave In Rock Ferry plans to reopen at noon after being closed since dark Wednesday evening due to heavy ice on the Ohio River.

While there is still ice floating in the river, it has dissipated enough to allow the ferry to safely operate.

It will take the crew a couple of hours to clear ice and debris off the landings to prepare for ferry service to resume on the normal operating schedule. The Cave In Rock Ferry plans to resume operation at noon today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Area death

Paul David Jacobs, 82, of Wheatcroft, a native of Crittenden County, died Jan. 6, 2014. Jones and Erdman Funeral Home in Providence is handling arrangements.

Removal of boulder likely next week

Due to messy conditions created by the weather, it appears as if removal of a boulder and rocks blocking Blackburn Church Road in rural Crittenden County will have to wait until next week.

A rock slide the weekend before Christmas left large a large boulder and other rocks sheared from a bluff completely obstructing the road about 3.5 miles off Ky. 120 in eastern Crittenden County.

KSP urges parents to be aware of Internet predators

The Kentucky State Police used their latest episode of KSP-TV to warn parents about the dangers of Internet predators.  The video shares an inside look at the agency's Electronic Crimes Branch and the intricate work that takes place to protect children from online predators.

KSP spokesman Tpr. Paul Blanton says the Internet has become an important part of everyday life - for information, communication and entertainment.

"The most technology receptive segment of our population is young people," says Blanton. "It's an unfortunate fact of life that along with the many resources the Internet provides there are also online predators stalking our youth."

Blanton says the problem with the Internet is we can't see the predators that may be after our children. That's why he says it's important for parents to talk to their children about what can happen with strangers on social media.

"Parents need to be open and honest with their teens. They need to tell them about the dangers that are out there. Sometimes we don't think our teens listen to us, but they do." 

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there are nearly 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. An increasing number of those individuals are utilizing the Internet to find their victims.

KSP Detective Josh Lawson works in the Electronic Crimes Branch and says a majority of victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes are between the ages of 13 and 15 years old.

"The key to safeguarding your children is an open line of communication.  You want to know who your children are talking to face to face. You wouldn't let them talk to any stranger on the street, especially about intimate things," says Lawson.  "Why would you let them talk to someone on the Internet about even more intimate things?"

In 82 percent of online sex crimes predators used the victim's social media site to gain information about the youth. Only 18 percent of youth use chat rooms but a majority of the internet sex crimes are initiated in chat rooms.

Blanton says parents need to set ground rules with their children.

"Have the computer in a common room. Know your children's passwords on social networking sites and talk to your children about what they are doing online," adds Blanton.  "If parents won't, someone else will and that person could be a sexual predator hiding behind a computer."

Blanton hopes the KSP-TV video segment will be a tool used by parents and teachers to create an open dialogue with young people about the dangers lurking beyond their computer screens.

The NCMEC recommends the website www.netsmartz.org  as another valuable resource for parents and educators to utilize when talking to youth about Internet safety.

To view the KSP-TV Electronic Crimes episode, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie0abjG3ebk

KSP-TV consists of short videos in documentary style format that highlight the inner workings of the agency, giving the public an opportunity at a unique look inside of the agency.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ice closes ferry

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is closed due to ice on the Ohio River. 

The ferry halted operations at dark tonight due to ice flowing out of the Wabash River into the Ohio.

Ferry operator Lonnie Lewis says he will evaluate the volume of and size of ice coming down the river in the morning to determine if the ferry can operate safely during daylight hours.

State lawmaker discharges weapon in Capitol

KENTUCKY PRESS NEWS SERVICE
A Pikeville state representative said she accidentally fired her semi-automatic handgun in the Capitol annex office building in Frankfort Tuesday night.

Louisville TV station WHAS-11 reported on its website that Leslie Combs, a Democrat from Pikeville, said she was unloading a Ruger LCP .380 according to safety procedure when it discharged. Another state representative, Jeff Greer, was in the room at the time but was not hurt. The bullet lodged in a bookcase, the TV station reported.

Greg Stumbo, speaker of the House, asked state police to investigate the incident. Stumbo told WHAS-TV that many lawmakers are armed and he admitted to carrying a gun at the Capitol in the past.

Combs told the TV station that she now plans to carry a revolver instead of the semi-automatic gun that accidentally fired.

The station reported that a KSP official said no charges would be filed.

CVE hosts farmer outreach seminar

An agricultural outreach program will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ed-Tech Center in Marion.

The purpose of the program is to educate the public on both state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to commercial vehicles in the farming industry. It is open to the public and individuals are encouraged to attend. A question-and-answer session will follow the conclusion of the program.

The program is coordinated by the Crittenden County University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.

For further information, contact Crittenden County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent Meredith Hall at 965-5236.

Life in Christ Church cancels services

Life in Christ Church in Marion has cancelled Wednesday night services due to frozen water pipes.

Lawmakers propose statewide smoke-free legislation

Kentucky state Rep. Susan Westrom (D-Lexington) and Sen. Julie Denton (R-Louisville) today announced plans to file separate bills in their respective chambers to create a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law in Kentucky.

"Only 34 percent of Kentuckians live in a community with a smoke-free law," read a news release on the proposed legislation from Smoke Free Kentucky. "Due to the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that secondhand smoke harms human health, coupled with strong public support, Westrom and Denton’s bills will extend protection from secondhand smoke to the rest of Kentucky so everyone will have the right to breathe smoke-free air at work and in public."

The effort has received support from Gov. Steve Beshear, who has included a smoke-free law among his goals. In his State of the Commonwealth address, the governor said “During this session, I will again support comprehensive, statewide smoke-free legislation.”  In pointing out that many places are not covered by local smoke-free laws in Kentucky, he said, “We must fill in the map and protect all our people.”

Area deaths

Michael Allen McDowell, 60, of Marion died Dec. 31, 2013, at his home. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Dorris Driver, 79, of Marion died Jan. 7 2014, at Baptist Health Paducah. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Area deaths

Bertha Butler, 89, of Marshall, Mich., formerly of Marion died Dec. 30, 2013, in Michigan. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Charles E. Robinson, 78, of Paducah, died Jan. 5, 2014, at Princeton Health & Rehab in Princeton following a long illness. Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville is handling arrangements.

PSC offers tips for cutting consumption during bitter cold weather

With a blast of arctic air covering the state, the Kentucky Public Service Commission says consumers can limit the impact on their home heating bills by taking steps to reduce energy consumption. “As temperatures plummet, energy usage and home heating bills inevitably rise,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said in a news release. “But a few simple steps can help limit the effect.”

For the full story, visit Kentucky Press News Service online.

KU, electric grid operator urge energy conservation on Tuesday

Electric companies were calling Monday for voluntary energy conservation by customers during the cold blast. "We are running a very high-load demand," Kentucky Utilities spokesman Cliff Feltham said late Monday. "While it's not an emergency, they can surely help us if they would." He urged customers to lower thermostats a degree or two, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms and take similar measures.

For the full story, visit The Herald-Leader online.

Monday, January 6, 2014

No school Tuesday in Crittenden County

Due to continued hazardous driving conditions throughout the county, school will be closed on Tuesday in Crittenden County.

Several Kenergy customers without power

Several household in southern Crittenden County are without power this afternoon as temperatures hover around 5 degrees. According to Kenergy Corp.'s website, three outages have affected 29 customers south of the Mexico community. The estimated outage time is for about 2 hours.

To follow outages, visit Kenergy's Outage Center Web page.

No Kentucky Utilities Co. outages have been reported in the area. However, KU outages can be tracked at KU's Storm/Outage Information Web page.

Drug Coaltion meeting rescheduled

The Drug Coalition meeting set for today at 6:30 p.m. has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Ed-Tech Center in Marion. The meeting will occur right before the community drug forum at 6 p.m.

Extension office closed

Crittenden County Extension Office is closed today.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

No school in Crittenden County

There will be no school in Crittenden County Monday.

Winter storm downgraded

The winter storm warning issued for Crittenden County and the surrounding area has been downgraded to an advisory through this evening with about 2 inches of snow expected. However, temperatures are still expected to drop, creating bitterly cold conditions overnight and into Tuesday. Wind chills could dip to minus 25 degrees.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Road crews prep for storm

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are prepared for what is likely to be a tough day of snow-fighting efforts on Sunday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of the region from midnight tonight until 6 p.m., Sunday.

The current forecast indicates the winter storm will be followed by extremely cold temperatures for several days.

Motorists are urged to monitor area media outlets for weather updates.

Sunday night temperatures are expected to drop to single digits and below, with the high on Monday around 5 degrees.  

KYTC crews will work through the day on Sunday in an effort to clear roads before the extreme cold hits Sunday night.  

Once the temperatures drop Sunday Night, temperatures are not expected to rise into the 20’s until about Wednesday.

The impact of salt and other ice-fighting chemicals is greatly diminished below 18 degrees Fahrenheit.  That means highway crews will be very limited in their ability to improve driving conditions during this period.  

Motorists are advised to be prepared to encounter hazardous driving conditions and extreme cold through this period.  Cold temperatures will mean what would normally be a minor inconvenience, such as a dead battery or a flat tire, could easily become a life-threatening incident for anyone who is not properly prepared.  

Motorists should make every effort to avoid unnecessary travel during this period.

Roadway information for Kentucky and links to surrounding states can be found atwww.511.ky.gov.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter storm warning issued

A winter storm warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for Crittenden County and the surrounding region, with significant snowfall expected Sunday.

According to NWS, precipitation in the form of rain should start falling Saturday night but it will likely turn to snow either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The bulk of the accumulating snowfall will come Sunday morning and into early Sunday afternoon. Anywhere from 4 to 8 inches has been predicted for the area.

Compacting the sting of the winter storm with be extremely low temperatures and high winds to follow the precipitation. The mercury is expected dip into the single digits Sunday night and then drop below 0. Wind chills could dip as low as minus 25 degrees. The high for Monday is forecast to be 1 degree with the high Tuesday reaching only into the low teens

Crittenden County Emergency Management Director David Travis, monitoring the situation through teleconferences with NWS, said significant drifting of snow could be possible Sunday with high winds and light, powdery snow.

Travel will be extremely hazardous during this period. Because of the extremely low temperatures, salt will have little to no melting effect on the roadways.

As usual, the courthouse will be open as a warming center for those in need of shelter from the frigid temperatures. Billy Arflack, deputy emergency management director, said the courthouse is currently open and will remain so as long as necessary. Travis said if the need outgrows the courthouse, a shelter will be set up for the community.

Arflack, also chief of Crittenden County Volunteer Fire Department, warns residents to be very careful with the use of supplemental heaters of all types during this period. Because of the extreme cold, he said, firefighting becomes almost impossible, and the smallest fire can turn into a disaster.

Fire consumes Tolu home

Firefighters from six area volunteer departments were still battling a fire at a Tolu residence just before dusk Friday. The blaze at a house trailer on Broadway Street in Tolu was first reported shortly after 2 p.m. No one was hurt in the fire, but the home is a total loss. The home is reported to belong Butch Phillips.